Alaska depends on tourism facing a multi-billion dollar deficit

Published on : Friday, August 11, 2017

AlaskaAlaska is betting on tourism. Facing a multibillion-dollar deficit, declining revenue and a public opposed to new taxes, the state has cut back on most services. However, tourism is getting extra help and tourism marketing is expanding. Gov. Bill Walker proposed a grant of $3 million to market Alaska to tourists. That’s up from $1.5 million last year, and while the Legislature cut plenty of items from Walker’s budget proposal, it didn’t cut tourism dollars.


What the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has done for Alaska salmon, the Alaska Tourism Marketing Board is trying to do for state tourism.


In 2017, the state contributed just $1.5 million to tourism marketing. For the first time, the state didn’t print a physical tourist-information brochure, making it the only state in the country to lack one.


With more funding this year and revenue from its own efforts, the marketing board has approved a $5.36 million budget.


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